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Franschhoek Literary Festival

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

“Can Creative Writing be Taught?” Three Authors Speak to Victor Dlamini

Victor Dlamini, Andre Brink, and Henrietta Rose-Innes “There may have been a time when those who couldn’t … taught” said Victor Dlamini, leading a panel discussion titled “Those Who Can … Teach!” at the FLF. The panel consisted of a series of what Dlamini termed prize-winning authors, Henrietta Rose-Innes, AndrĂ© Brink and Willem Anker. All three of which either teach or have taught creative writing.

The main question posed to the three teacher-writers was whether or not they think someone can be taught to write. “No,” said Brink immediately but not without a spark of humour in his voice. Both Anker and Rose-Innes agreed with Brink when he said “a person cannot be taught to write unless there is something in that person which predisposes them to write. This something must be more than just an urge.” A concurrent sentiment was also one which sees creative writing courses as having the ability to give writers a unique experience of their work regardless of whether or not they have that something.

 

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